Hoek Takes Skyjacker to the Podium Twice in Bark River Holland, MI (July16, 2008) - Ross Hoek Motorsports came to Upper Michigan's World Center of Dirt with a complete arsenal of race trucks to continue his quest for the championship,...
Hoek Takes Skyjacker to the Podium Twice in Bark River
Holland, MI (July16, 2008) - Ross Hoek Motorsports came to Upper Michigan's World Center of Dirt with a complete arsenal of race trucks to continue his quest for the championship, in both PRO-2WD and Super Truck in the World Series of Off-Road Racing. This past weekend was the first time RHM would race a separate trucks built specifically for each division. The Skyjacker Suspension Herculiner Raybestos Brakes Goodyear Tires F-150 trucks would not disappoint as the team put each truck on the podium.
In an effort to put on a great show, race officials decided to create a "Challenge Race" between PRO-4x4 and the Super Truck divisions. The Super Trucks would get a half lap head start for the ten lap event. There was bonus money for the overall winner of the race, and the winners of each division, as well. This format was used Saturday and Sunday.
Ross Hoek and his #210 Skyjacker Suspension Herculiner Raybestos Brakes Goodyear Tire F-150 started out strong, as the third Super Truck coming out of the first turn. Throughout the first few laps, the engine warning light came on intermittently, as his engine lost oil pressure. The concern over the engine's low oil pressure increased, dramatically, every time the truck ran through a rough section of the track. During those sections, the gauge registered zero oil pressure! Ross decided to back off and cruise the final six laps, hoping not to damage his engine. Officially, Ross crossed the finish as the fourth placing Super Truck. Congratulations to Ben Wandahsega, for holding off the PRO-4x4 trucks to take the overall win.
The #21 Skyjacker Suspension Herculiner Raybestos Brakes Goodyear Tire F-150 came out of the first turn in third place, but by the time Ross raced by the spectator hill, for the first time, he knew this wasn't going to be his race. The brakes were failing on the truck. Hoping it was only air in a brake line; Ross began pumping the brake pedal, while accelerating down through the back loop of the track. Unfortunately, this didn't improve his situation. Nevertheless, Ross soldiered on using the engine and transmission for braking assistance the rest of the race. Ross was able to cross the finish line on the lead lap in fifth place.
"We battled a problem in each truck today," commented Ross Hoek. "The engine in the Super Truck didn't have enough Royal Purple Synthetic oil in the system. We installed a new sump system and didn't fill the tank enough; a simple mistake cost us a great finish but the Royal Purple did its job and the engine is fine. The PRO-2WD was just some bad luck. There are some big rocks that get dug up and thrown at you when 850 horsepower is applied to the ground. One of those rocks caught one of the main brake lines and just ripped it open. It was a freak thing. Everything else is fine on the trucks. We found ourselves points racing, in both classes, today, which is very frustrating, but we can't wait to race up front tomorrow."
The land rush start had Ross in fifth place, running door to door with #229 Steele, as the two Super Trucks raced past the spectator hill. Both trucks gradually made their way up to the front of the field. The track was dry and slick spots were already forming through out the course. Early on several trucks spun due to the dry slick conditions. The Goodyear tires on the #210 Skyjacker Super Truck really adapted well to the track conditions, allowing Ross to make all the right moves. As the laps wound down, Ross was in second place looking to make up ground on the leader, when the PRO-4x4 trucks caught him. Ross slowed and took the inside line leaving plenty of room for them to pass on the outside. Daugherty missed Ross's "turn signal" and caught the back of truck, spinning him in front of Brascho. Then Brascho, with no where to go, drove right over the back of the Skyjacker Ford, shredding the body and one tire. With only a lap and a half to the finish, Ross refused to let up and came home on the podium, in second place.
This was the fourth Super Truck second place finish of the year. After six rounds of racing, Ross Hoek is in fourth place in the Super Truck Championship standings. The race for the championship is very close, as only three points separate second through fourth place.
"We are halfway through the season," commented Ross Hoek. "We are definitely in the battle for the Super Truck championship. In years past, the battle has gone down to the last round of racing. The second half of the season will really be exciting. I really like the Challenge race concept. It really makes for great racing and it brings a bigger purse for the racers."
The start saw the #21 Skyjacker Suspensions Herculiner Raybestos Brakes Goodyear Tire F-150 take the lead with #77 Vanden Heuvel right on his bumper. Then on lap three #5 Evans made a clean outside pass for the lead, as the two were heading down the hill toward the starting area. The next four laps, #77 Vanden Heuvel really applied the pressure on Ross, but the Skyjacker Herculiner Ford never faltered. After Vanden Heuvel headed to the hot pit for a tire change, the #21 Ford F-150 charged to the finish in second place.
The second place finish was his best finish of the year in PRO-2 and put him in fourth place in the championship standings.
"What a battle today," noted Ross Hoek. "Getting the holeshot, running side by side with Evan and Dan, was the best race I've had inPRO-2WD. This was a real confidence builder for the entire team. We've gone through a lot to get to this point, but to get the performance we did in both trucks today, is awesome. My crew is the best bunch of guys out there. The Goodyear tires were one of the difference makers for us today. The Raybestos brake pads never faded. Thanks to Skyjacker for having the faith in us to work together again, and the continued support from Herculiner. Oshkosh can't get here soon enough."
The next race for Ross Hoek Motorsports is at the Oshkosh Speed zone, July 25-26, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.